Tossing out the autism-mercury link, a new Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found no correlation between autism the mercury-based vaccines containing the preservative thimerosol. Before anyone leaps to any conclusions, it’s important to define autism and the more popular term Autism Spectrum Disorder, including a range of neurobehavioral conditions showing autism symptoms. Recent moves to by British medical authorities to strip Dr. Andrew Wakefield of his medical license to discredit and retract his revolutionary 1999 “Lancet” study finding a link between childhood vaccines and autism, bolsters the government’s study. “This study should reassure parents about following the immunization recommended immunization schedule,” said Dr. Frank Destefano, director of immunization Safety Office at the CDC in Atlanta.
Vaccine makers have seized on British authorities attempts to discredit Wakefield. Alarmingly high autism rates and too much anecdotal evidence make it difficult for parents to ignore frighteningly high autism rates among countries with frequent vaccine schedules. Without sounding cynical, publicly traded vaccine-makers want to sell as much vaccines as possible. They augment the bottom line by increasing vaccine schedules, whether or not there’s known risks. Years of increasing vaccine schedule led Wakefield to the reasoned conclusion that such practices impact the fragile toxicology of newborns and young children, prior to stable language acquisition. While there are many ethical and procedural flaws in Wakefield’s study, it doesn’t automatically reverse the logic and common sense of his study: That too much vaccine virus affects fragile neurochemistry.
Before anyone leaps to any conclusions, they should explore the growing body of anecdotal evidence that today’s vaccine schedules, with or without mercury, affects the developing child’s neurochemistry and development. While drug makers typically blame autism on faulty genetics, no known scientific study has established such a link. CDC acknowledges the current incidence of ASD at one-in-110 children. Boys are three times more likely to develop ASD than girls, the alarming rise in ASD rates among girls disproves old theories. When the CDC examined medical charts of U.S. children born between 1994-1995, they compared 256 subjects with ASD to 752 without, showing no increase with children exposed to thimerosol. Children exposed to vaccines with thimerosol actually had slightly lower auttsm rates, though the study’s authors couldn’t account for this phenomenon.
British medical authorities blamed Wakefield from frightening off parents from insisting on standard vaccinations. This is a very reassuring study,” said Dr. Michael J. Smith, said University of Louisville Med School, reassured that vaccines were indeed safe for pre-language infants and children. “These data show that you could receive a thimeorsol vaccine and not be concerned about it,” said Smith, ignoring the virus itself that may have more on developing autism that gene. Removing thimerosol from vaccines hasn’t yet shown an improvement in the incidence of autism. Some researchers attribute the alarming rise in U.S. autism rates to vaccine exposure, not simply exposure to the mercury-laced preservative. Physicians rely heavily on information from drug and vaccine makers, not knowing that scientific research is largely funding by the same publicly traded companies.
Genetic explanations can’t account for differences in autism rates among various countries with different vaccine schedules. If there’s any valid correlation, it involves lower autism rates among countries that vaccinate less. Before revoking Wakefield’s license, they blamed him for an increase in childhood diseases in the U.K., including diptheira, pertussis [whopping cough], tetanus, mumps and Rubella [German measles], all caused by parents electing to not vaccine their children. More unregulated immigration from third-world African countries could easily explain the epidemiology in the U.K. All the rush to exonerate vaccine makers has more to do with product liability than it does actual rates of disease. No government or vaccine-maker sponsored study currently eliminates the possibility that vaccines, with or without mercury, contribute to the rise in ASD.
Tossing out the mercury-vaccine link doesn’t automatically excuse the rising incidence of vaccines on the development of ASD. Discrediting Wakefield doesn’t undo a growing body of anecdotal evidence that indicates that adding more frequent vaccines contributes to more ASD. While there’s a distinct possibility that the broad ASD diagnosis increases the incidence of autism, it doesn’t rule out how frequent and toxic vaccine schedules affect young nervous systems. Today’s scientific studies lack the experimental controls and neutral funding to assure that any finding lacks the kind of bias built-in today’s scientific research. Vaccine makers have a vested interest in bringing more product to market, regardless of the damaging side effect on young nervous systems. Before ignoring Wakefield’s genius of linking autism to vaccines, more independent research is needed.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.